Men’s Tennis Hires Eddie Coates As New Assistant Coach 9/17/02

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt men’s tennis coach Ken Flach announced on Tuesday afternoon the hiring of Eddie Coates (Cleveland, Tenn.) as the new assistant coach.

“I'm really excited that Eddie is joining our program in a new capacity,” head coach Ken Flach said. “In the six years I've been here, he has been one of my best players and now he is my assistant coach.”

Coates graduated from Vanderbilt in 2001 with a degree in Human and Organizational Development.

Over his five years with the Commodores’ tennis program, one of which he sat out due to a major knee injury, Coates won 127 matches combined in singles and doubles (64 singles, 63 doubles). Coates capped off his collegiate career by qualifying for the main draw of NCAA Singles Championship. He finished his senior campaign with a International Tennis Association (ITA) ranking of No. 53 in singles. His senior season was capped off my being named second team All-SEC and defeating six nationally-ranked opponents, including a win over No. 1-ranked Oskar Johansson of Arkansas.

One thing Coates has going for as takes over as assistant coach is that he was teammates with five players on the active 2002-03 roster. During the 2000-01 season, he was teammates with present juniors Zach Dailey, Chad Harris, Bobby Reynolds, Lewis Smith and senior Josh Tarkoff.

“It is a natural progression that you see very often at other top programs around the country because it makes so much sense,” Flach said. “Up until now, I haven't had the luxury of being able to hire one of my own players, but now I've been here long enough to see a few players graduate that played for me. Eddie played for me, so we know each other well. He was a senior when some of our present players were freshman, so they know him as well. A former player of a program is great fit because he is already familiar with the school, the city and the conference. The initiation period and transition go a lot smoother and quicker bringing back a person that has already played here.”

The Commodores return every player from their 2001-02 team, who made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, except for Jens Frederiksen, who is sitting out the upcoming season with an injury. Flach and Coates will have three additions to the roster in University of Michigan transfer Matthew Lockin, University of Stony Brook transfer Jens Pilgram-Larson and freshman Greg Sossaman.

Vanderbilt kicks off its Fall season on Friday, September 20, when it competes in the 15th-annual Middle Tennessee State University Fall Invitational at the Buck Bouldin Tennis Center in Murfressboro, Tenn. The invitational runs Friday through Sunday.


Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)